2022 ND crime statistics released: rising violent crime

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota’s population continues to grow, and so do the state’s crime rates. Attorney General Drew Wrigley released the 2022 crime statistics Tuesday.

Attorney General Wrigley touched on the rising violent crime rates, problems law enforcement face — such as filling vacant positions — and new statistics the office is tracking.

Caution tape is becoming more common — not only in Bismarck-Mandan but across the state. Violent crimes continue to increase.

“These are troubling numbers, those are troubling trends,” said Wrigley.

There were 30 homicides in North Dakota in 2022, which is almost double the 17 in 2021. According to the AG’s report, nine of those were in Burleigh and Morton County.

“These are all just reported, it’s not the number of incidents, it’s the number of victims,” said Colleen Weltz, statistics program manager.

Crimes such as rape, robberies, child pornography, aggravated assault and DUIs also increased in 2022. But Wrigley says there are some positives, including the decade-long downward trend of DUIs. He says this is due to mandatory sentencing.

“Down, down, down. People act accordingly when they know what their penalty will be,” said Wrigley.

Wrigley also revived his push for mandatory minimum sentencing for certain violent crimes. Senate Bill 2107 failed this session; it would have imposed tougher penalties for violent gun crimes and offenses against police.

“There is no policy maker in our state that can stand up and look their constituents in their eye and not acknowledge we have a violent crime problem and it’s getting worse,” said Wrigley.

The Attorney General also renewed his commitment to lowering crime by stopping it at its source.

“Anti-Recidivism measures, mental health, alcohol abuses, narcotics abuse, those are drivers of a lot of crime,” said Wrigley.

Wrigley says his office would begin tracking a new statistic — crimes committed by people released on early parole.

There are some factors not included in the report, such as that not all crimes are reported and the numbers given out today don’t show how many resulted in arrests or prosecution.